Over the years the FTC has done extensive work in bringing cases against deceptive free trial offers or subscription traps. This list is limited to cases from the last ten years or so, and that involve free trial offers. It does not include those involving introductory rates for otherwise legitimate products. Most, but not all, of these cases also involve a subscription trap.  The list does not include all cases involving violations of ROSCA.

  1. Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals: Filed in 2006; settled in July 2009. Case involved the Enzyte male enhancement pill, with TV commercials featuring “Smiling Bob”. ; Judgment of $44,876,781
  2. Grant Connect/Kimoto: Filed in 2009; won in Court and resolved 2013. Case involved free trials of government grant programs employing photos of Barack Obama and Joe Biden; Court entered $29.8 million judgment.
  3. Commerce Planet: Filed 2009; won in Court 2016. Case involved an online auction kit; victims were told they could get a free trial by simply paying shipping and handling. FTC won in court and on appeal; Court ordered judgment of $19.7 million.
  4. Central Coast Nutraceuticals: Filed 2010; settled 2013. Case Involved “free trials” of diet and colon cleansing pills; claimed endorsements by Oprah Winfrey and Rachel Ray; Judgment of $80 million
  5. Iworks: Filed 2010; settled 2017. Case involved free trial offers of government grants and money making opportunities. Judgment of $280.9 million.
  6. Jesse Wilms: Filed in 201l, resolved 2012. This case involved a Canadian company that offered free trials of weight loss pills, tooth whiteners and other products; claimed endorsements by Oprah Winfrey and Rachel Ray. Judgement of $359 million. Subject of an article in the Atlantic magazine
  7. Leanspa: Filed in 2011, settled 2016. Connecticut Attorney General coplaintiff. Case involved free trials for weight loss and colon cleansing pills. Judgment for $32,725,453
  8. Health Formulas: Filed 2014; settled 2017. Case Involved free trials of weight loss, male enhancement and skin care products. Judgment of $105 million.
  9. AuraVie: Filed 2015; settled 2018. Case involved free trials of skincare products; falsely claimed had an A+ rating with BBB. Judgment of $72.7 million.
  10. Credit bureau center: Filed 2017; won in court 2018. Case involved promises of “free” credit reports but enrolled victims in a continuity plan and kept charging for the service. Judgment of $5.2 million.
  11. XXL: Filed 2017; settled in 2018. FTC with the Maine Attorney General. Case involved memory improvement pills and also joint and back pain pills. Judgment of $ 6.57 million.
  12. AAFE: Filed as a settlement in 2017. Case Involved free trial offers for cooking gadgets, golf equipment, and online subscriptions. Company paid $2.5 million.
  13. RevGo: Filed in 2017; settled 2018. Case involved free trials of tooth whiteners and other products. Judgment of $92,011,601.
  14. Tarr: Filed and resolved in 2017. Case involved free trials for more than 40 weight loss, muscle building, wrinkle reduction products; claimed endorsed by Will Ferrell, Dr. Oz, and Jennifer Anniston. Judgment of $179 million.
  15. Triangle: Filed in 2018 and in court. Case Involved free trials for skin creams, electronic cigarettes and other products; company claimed 93% of sales were outside the U.S. Case being appealed to the 9th Circuit; FTC alleged that sales were in excess of $30 million.

Share and Enjoy !

0 0